Hey there, music lover! If you have been playing for a while and are looking to take your piano skills to the next level, this article is for you. Here, we go over a few helpful hints that will help you begin taking your piano skills to the next level.
1) Use Chords In Your Songwriting
One of the first keys to taking your piano skills to the next level is learning how chords work. Basically, chords allow multiple notes (notes other than just one note at a time) to deliver sound simultaneously. The best way to learn how chords work is by experimenting with them yourself and seeing what sounds good and doesn’t sound good as well as watching/listening to examples online or elsewhere. Also, if possible, find a teacher who can help you.
Playing songs is fun, but putting chords in on top of your favorite song really takes it to the next level. Songwriters often use chords when they write songs, so if you try playing along with the chord progression that they used when writing the song, it will likely sound great! John Lennon’s famous song Imagine on the piano sounds fascinating when you listen to it due to its smooth chord progression. When you get the hang of chord progression and inversion, playing the famous Imagine piano riff will be a breeze. Another benefit of using chord progression while learning your favorite songs is that you have more possibilities for melodies. If the notes are all slurred or played separately instead of being strummed or plucked altogether, there are fewer options for changing up melodies, which means you’ll be listening to pretty much the same melody over and over again. However, with chords, you’re changing the rhythm and notes that are played, which changes up melodies.
2) Learn To Improvise
Improvisation is an excellent way to learn how to take your piano skills to the next level. It essentially involves choosing a key (like C major), creating a simple melody (e.g. by playing the white keys and/or black keys and seeing what sounds good), and then adding in chords or basslines underneath it. Recovering from mistakes during improvising is also important, because if you don’t recover from those mistakes, then listeners will likely think that your performance was not good as it could have been. For example, if you play a wrong note, just keep playing as though nothing happened. At first, it may be better to practice your improvisation without an audience so that you can recover from mistakes more easily and not worry about making them in front of people.
3) Learn Keyboard Chords
Keyboard chords are very important for taking your piano skills to the next level because they allow you to hear multiple lines simultaneously. Also, once you learn how keyboard chords work, they will likely come in handy when learning popular songs because often chord progressions are written on keyboards instead of guitar or other instruments. If possible, try using a MIDI keyboard during your songwriting process or experiment with different chord progressions by playing around on a keyboard.
4) Work On Your Rhythm Skills
One of the best ways to take your piano skills to the next level is by working on developing better rhythm skills. Rhythm refers to how music is organized with time, which means every song has a particular beat or speed that it is played at. It can be very helpful with practice if you choose a familiar song and tap out its rhythm as you play it so that you can develop solid rhythm skills. You should also try playing along with different songs as another way to improve your timing and sense of rhythm.
5) Analyze and Learn From The Work Of Other Musicians
Unlocking a new level in your piano skills often requires learning about other pianists’ work and what makes them good musicians and composers. To do this, find some YouTube videos of your favorite pianists, songwriters, keyboard players, composers, or music producers‘ work and watch what they do. Pay attention to their hands as well as the pedals because those are tools that you will likely need to use later on in your own compositions or performances. You can also read the sheet music of their songs by looking them up online.
In addition to studying your favorite pianists’ work, try learning from other musicians who have more musical experience than you do. In order to do this, ask people who have been in the music scene longer than yourself questions about their methods or approaches to music-making. You could even find them on social media sites like YouTube or Facebook and message them to ask questions or talk to them in person if possible. Asking people who know more than you will help improve your playing and composing skills because they can give you advice on what to do and what not to do as a pianist and open up new musical dimensions for you.
6) Learn Music Theory Basics
To level up your piano skills, try learning some basic music theory. This is very helpful for both composing and improvising because it helps you understand how different scales work. People often use music theory when writing songs, so knowing about it would be great if you were interested in doing that yourself. There are many different types of scales (e.g. major scale) and each scale is made up of a specific pattern of half and whole steps. It’s also important to listen for tonal centers when improvising because dominant chords sound different depending on what key the song is in. A major chord sounds very different in a song that has a minor key compared to a major key, so it can be good to pay attention to this if you’re still not sure how it works.
7) Embrace Technology
Another way to take your piano skills to the next level is by using technology and tools. For example, try using different types of software so that you can write music electronically. Also, check out keyboards that have different touch-sensitivity settings (i.e. greater or less responsiveness depending on how hard/soft you play) as that is something that you might find handy later in your development as it gives more variety. Pianos that are good for beginners tend to have less touch sensitivity but can still be useful if you like playing them.
There are many ways to take your piano skills to the next level, so hopefully, this article has given you some insight as to how you can do that. As a final piece of advice, learn to take breaks from practice once in a while. You might be seeking advancement as a pianist but it doesn’t mean that you need to practice every moment of the day – give yourself some well-deserved time off. Remember, it’s important not to neglect any one area of development, and remember that practice makes perfect!